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Sci Tech    H4'ed 1/3/14

In our MOOC moment, public opinion about teacher quality does not matter.

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3) A massive PR campaign was led by the music industry to curtail the use of bands. Nightclubs were cast as unseemly and attracted crime, all the while, the jukebox was sold to the public as a healthy form of entertainment for youth to keep them off the streets dramatized by the sit-com Happy Days.

If we consider all the recent media coverage on MOOCs, teachers, and education, there are clear echoes of the processes that took place in the music industry unfolding in education today.

Predicting the effects of disruptive technologies impact on jobs is not a perfect science, but applying basic market logic, one can make a case that once parents and students begin to see a much more efficient and cheaper way to get an education, the adoption of MOOCs could take hold quickly. Its important to note, that the jukebox had been around for a number of years, but it only took a few years for the technology to aid in the fall of the musicians' union and catapult a broad swath of musicians into the gallows of the unemployed.

People still enjoy listening to live music today, but ask any average musician if they hold a day job to make ends meet and the answer is most likely, yes. We will need human teachers in the future, but just like the music industry today, there will be a few highly paid superstars performing in videos and the rest will be playing for tips on street corners and in dive bars.

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Ali Hangan is high school teacher in Pomona, California.

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